Brutal Defender (Audiobook)
Brutal Defender (Audiobook)
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I choose Killian O’Malley out of desperation.
My papà gives me an ultimatum with one other option.
I’ll do anything not to marry the Italian mafia boss who lives in Italy and is twice my age.
So I become Killian’s debt repayment.
When I’m forced to pick, I don’t know he’s a boxer, a decade older than me, or has a body better than Zeus.
He calls me a mafia brat and creates rules like I’m his child, saying he’ll tame me.
Our angsty relationship is so hot between the sheets my head is constantly spinning.
At times, he becomes a raging psychopath destroying anyone who even looks at me, including my ex who won’t move on.
I thought Killian would be a playboy, but he takes our vows to the extreme.
Everything about him makes him my brutal defender.
Regret is something I try not to let into my life. It can swallow you whole and destroy you, inch by inch, until everything in your future looks dark. I learned that when my father died. It cursed me when Liam went to prison for avenging his killer. When my brother, Sean, got murdered, it almost destroyed me.
At some point, I had to remember I'm a fighter. I take knocks and then I hit back harder. There was nothing I could do about my father or Liam. Circumstances already set their fate in stone. But Sean's death was different. I could wallow in my grief and guilt over not finding out what Sean was involved in or use it to destroy the parties who ended his life. I chose the latter.
Moving forward, I told myself I'd never again regret anything I did. I would make my decisions and live with the consequences. My father always said, "Real men don't make excuses. They step up to the plate."
The problem with my thinking is I never considered my actions would harm one of my brothers. When my brothers, Liam, and I went to rescue Gemma, I'm the one who drove away from Nolan. I also left the house before he did, instead of waiting for him to carry Gemma outside. If I had made a different decision, maybe Nolan wouldn't have been arrested and booked for a double homicide.
So when Tully said all three of us—Declan, Nolan, and I—were on the hook for him solving Nolan's issue, it didn't make sense to me. I spoke my mind and didn't flinch or care when he said I would be the only one to owe him. Neither of my brothers were happy with my decision. They both tried to step in and shift the debt to themselves. But I wasn't going to let that happen. It's one favor then it's over. I'm not about to lose any sleep over it. A deal is a deal.
But Tully's power trip is getting old. It's Nolan's wedding, and I intentionally didn't bring a date. I learned a few years ago there are plenty of hot, horny, starry-eyed lasses who go to weddings looking for a good time to try and forget they aren't the bride. And right now, I'm bored with the women I casually date. I'm ready for some new excitement in my life, even if it's just for the night.
All was good until Tully walked in. And now this argument taking place between him and the O'Malleys is wasting my time. It's one little thing. I do it. It's over. I move on with my life. Nolan stays out of prison. Tully goes back to New York, and everyone is happy.
I toss back more whiskey. I'm ready to party at my brother's wedding, get laid, and move forward. Of course, none of that can happen with Tully around. He starts talking about his alliance with Angelo Marino. Then he brings up Angelo's daughter, Arianna. She got involved in some circles her father isn't happy about, and he wants me to get her out of them.
I roll my eyes. A mafia brat who wants to piss off daddy. Fine. I'll tame her rebel ass. I grumble, "So I have to babysit this woman or something?"
Tully shakes his head. In a stern voice, he states, "No. You're going to marry her."
My brothers, Finn, and Liam go quiet, exchanging shocked glances. I finish my whiskey. "That's funny. Now, what's the job, Tully?" I put my hand on his shoulder and point at a brunette who's been giving me fuck-me-eyes all night. "And stop with the games. You're interrupting my time with that woman."
He sniffs hard. His voice turns hard as nails. "This isn't a game. You will marry her. Next Saturday."
I still think he's screwing with me, but Declan scowls. "What kind of fucked-up arrangement is this? Have one of your sons marry her. Killian isn't—"
"He's joking. Calm down," I state.
Tully's face hardens. "Do you see me smiling?"
My gut suddenly sinks. He's serious. He wants me to marry this mafia princess who made friends with people to make some point to her daddy.
"Absolutely not," I tell him.
"I've promised Angelo, and I don't go back on my word," Tully states.
"You've got four unmarried sons," Nolan points out.
Tully puts his crystal tumbler on the bar. "They live in New York. Angelo wants Arianna as far away as possible."
I motion to the bartender that I need another drink. I fume, "Then send her to Italy. I'm not marrying her. Plus, did you forget I'm an O'Malley? We're Irish. We don't marry Italian brats."
"This is an alliance—"
"Your alliance, not ours," Finn seethes.
Tully tosses back the rest of his whiskey. He slams the glass on the wooden bar and steps closer to me, so we're face-to-face. His sweet, hot breath merges into mine, and his nostrils flare. "The wedding is next Saturday. You show up, and our deal stays intact. You skip out, and it won't only be Nolan who goes down."
"You better watch who you're threatening," Liam snarls.
"This isn't a job, it's a life sentence. Find someone else," Nolan hisses.
Tully spins. "The only one who will be serving a life sentence is you." He steps out of our circle. "Congratulations. Enjoy your bride while you still can." He slaps a wedding envelope with Mr. and Mrs. Nolan O'Malley on the bar then leaves.
The five of us watch him walk away. Upbeat music blares in the other room. I'd normally be dancing right now. Or shagging some girl in a dark corner. Or stepping outside to smoke a joint. Nothing about Tully's demands makes me feel like doing any of that, especially when Gemma walks up to us.
She puts her hand on Nolan's bicep and nervously asks, "Is everything okay?"
Nolan tugs her into him and attempts to cover up his fear, but everyone can see it. Tully doesn't make idle threats. The power he holds can destroy a person in a matter of seconds. He's a heavyweight in the ring with a featherweight. It's an unequal match where everyone knows the winner before the bell rings. If he's on your side, you're safe. If he's not, you're going to be knocked down and not able to get back up.
Nolan kisses the top of Gemma's head. I turn away. I can't look at my sister-in-law in her wedding dress and my brother in his tux and not allow them to have the future they deserve. There is no choice. It's a done deal. What Tully wants, he'll get.
I shout to the bartender, "Six shots of whiskey. Make mine a double."
The bartender sets down the glasses. I toss mine back and pull out my phone. I open my social media and type Arianna Marino in the search bar.
"Gemma, can you give us a few more minutes?" Nolan asks.
"Thanks. I'll meet you for the next dance."
Gemma leaves, and my brothers, Liam, and Finn hover around me.
"Tell me you aren't considering this?" Declan says.
I scowl. "Would you prefer I destroy Nolan's life?"
"We'll figure something else out," Nolan states.
"What?" I ask.
He clenches his jaw.
I glance at the four of them. "Anyone have any ideas how to get Nolan or me out of this?"
Declan grabs the phone. "Let me see her. I'll do it."
I grunt. "Yeah, not having that over my head, either." I snag the cell back and hit the search button. The first account that pops up has over a million followers. I tap on it and am pleasantly surprised.
"At least she's hot," Declan offers.
"Not bad," I mumble, but she could be an Italian runway model. She has golden skin, big brown eyes under long lashes, and high cheekbones women would pay money to attempt to attain. Her pouty lips make me think dirty thoughts. She's not a stick. She's got curves in all the right places and long, shiny black hair.
If I saw her on the street, I'd follow her, strike up a conversation, and ask her out. I've always loved Mediterranean women, but I've never gotten serious about any of them. They're fun for a while, but I'm an O'Malley, meant to keep our Irish bloodline pure.
I hit her video footage, which disappears after twenty-four hours, and my blood starts to boil. She posted it within the last hour. In one slide, she's making out with some thug. In the next, she's dancing on a table while the bastard unbuttons her blouse. She's got a bottle of Cristal in her hand and she takes a long drink.
"Looks like you're going to have your hands full with that one," Declan mutters.
"Shut up," I bark. I grab another shot of whiskey, then walk off to the bathroom. I hit the follow button on the phone.
She immediately follows me back.
My pulse is still racing, and I debate about sending her a message, but one pops up.
Arianna: Stalking me already?
Me: Where are you right now?
Arianna: None of your business.
Me: I think it is.
Arianna: In your dreams.
Me: I'd call this a nightmare, not a dream, lass. But if you're going to be my wife, you better get your body parts covered and go home to daddy while you still live with him.
Arianna: Body parts? Do you even know what to do with yours?
Me: I'm sure you'll have a hard time handling my body parts.
Arianna: Right. Sorry to inform you, but I'm used to more than a two-inch tadpole.
I send her one of the many dick pics I've taken and sent to other women. Several minutes pass without her comments.
Me: Yeah, I thought so. I better not see any more pictures of that thug's hands on you.
Arianna: Don't make empty threats.
Me: I'm an implementer. Don't ever forget that. Now, keep your clothes on and go home.
More time passes. I keep staring at the phone, waiting for something. I don't get a message, but a notification pops up she posted another video.
I click on it, and every angry cell in my body lights on fire. She's on stage, dancing on a pole, and tears her shirt off. The thug who had his hands on her earlier gropes her.
The username for his account pops up. Donato Brambilla. I open up his page. Everything on it screams bad news.
He sends me a message.
Donato: I had her first. And I'm going to have her tonight.
My mouth turns dry. I stare at my reflection in the mirror, suddenly wanting to kill someone I've never heard of or met before this moment.
All night, I try to get her out of my mind and focus on my last few nights of freedom, but my blood never stops boiling.
- Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
- Narrated by: Kelsey Navarro & Lance Greenfield
Everything becomes clear. All I'm doing is moving from one person who won't tell me anything to another. And I might as well be a check he's handing over to Tully. My voice shakes. "I'm so sick of this."
"Sick of what?" he asks, genuinely looking confused.
I only give him half the truth. "Of being the person who gets left in the dark."
"Don't push your daddy issues on me. Whatever is between you two is exactly that—between you two, not me. And you can't expect me to tell you O'Malley business," he claims.
Anger fills me. "Okay, so you owed Tully. My papà gave you an out today.Why didn't you take it?"
"I already told you. And I seem to remember you choosing me over that fat prick," he declares.
I shake my head and grab my evening purse. I stick my phone and slim wallet in it. I head for the door.
He puts his hand on it so I can't open it.
I roar, "What are you doing?"
"Arianna, why are you pissed off at me right now?"
My insides shake. "You're just like my papà and brothers. That's why."
He snorts. "I'm nothing of the sort."
"Yes, you are."
He runs his hand through his hair. "Can we go back to where we were before you started prying into my business?"
"Yeah, sure. Whatever. Now move," I command.
"Way to be mature," he comments.
"Seriously? You let me think you screwed your sister, and you want to lecture me on maturity?" I seethe.
He clenches his jaw then opens the door. "Glad to see you can only stay in the nice zone for a few hours before returning to your normal self."
I brush past him. "Have fun tonight. I'll be with my brothers. Just stay away from me and give me my final night of freedom without you breathing down my neck."
He grabs my arm, yanks me back into the room, and pushes me up against the door.
You should read this book if you love:
- Dark Mafia Romance
- Arranged Marriage
- Rival Families
- Boxer Alpha Hero
- Social Media Darling Heroine
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Another heart stopping thrill ride from this author!! Killian and Arianna have an arranged marriage but sparks fly from the very beginning. Killian is an alphahole and when he flies off at the mouth it gets him in trouble. I love the progression of their push and pull relationship and how he starts treating Arianna as an equal."--Ashley (Little Shop of Readers)
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I knew from reading the other book's in the series that Killian's story was going to be like lighting a stick of dynamite, because this boy has Big D**k Energy literally"--Teresa (Give Me All The Book’s)